Wreak havoc; OPA: El Niño affects 3 NegOcc LGUs, causes P7-M damage

Posted by watchmen
January 31, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

Negros Occidental begins to grapple with the harsh effects of the El Niño phenomenon, as the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) reported yesterday that three local government units (LGUs) have already been affected by the weather phenomenon.

OPA officer-in-charge Dr. Dina Genzola said, as of January 26, 11 barangays in three Negros Occidental LGUs have felt El Niño’s impact.

At least 143 local farmers have been bearing the brunt of the phenomenon, which has already affected a total of 117.22 hectares of rice fields in the province.

The cumulative damage was pegged at a staggering P7,079,836.

Himamaylan City has been hit the hardest, with eight barangays and 75 rice farmers affected.

The city’s rice lands, spanning 59.22 hectares, have suffered damages amounting to more than P2.4 million.

Two villages have been affected in Cauayan town, impacting two rice farmers and 52 hectares of crops, with damages estimated at P4,105,000.

Meanwhile, a village in Isabela town was also hit by the weather phenomenon, with the LGU reported that six hectares of rice land were damaged, with losses tallied at P560,250, and one farmer was affected.

Genzola emphasized that the affected rice fields are either in the vegetative or harvestable stage, with the parched land showing visible signs of distress, leading to the demise of the rice crops.

“Upon receiving the reports, we swiftly dispatched agricultural extension workers to verify and assess the extent of the damages,” Genzola said.

She expressed hope that the affected farmers have availed themselves of crop insurance, emphasizing OPA’s collaboration with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

The provincial government has also allocated a budget for its own crop insurance initiative.

She noted that a majority of the affected rice fields are categorized as “rain-fed,” and are situated in upland areas, exacerbating the challenges faced by local farmers./DGB, WDJ



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